Kink and spicy sex isn’t mainstream because people pass value judgments on how you live your life.
In the past, there was a culture to uphold. Right or wrong, in Western culture heterosexual monogamy became the standard, and people quoted scripture to support that.
It became the standard because it worked. It codified expectations. Other cultures and traditions have had other ways. But with this sexually repressed system, Western culture did become ascendant.
But Western culture also gave the world the Enlightenment with a belief in rationality and equal rights, and we find ourselves in the culmination of this chain of events. And there have been culture wars for decades between the more liberal and conservative elements of society. It’s divided along red and blue political systems, but even beyond that.
Additionally, there is an increasing body of scientific evidence about how the brain has evolved and works that suggests that there are biological reasons for our cultural norms.
For example, there is evidence that if women are going to cheat, they tend to do it when they are most fertile and their estrogen is highest. If successful in doing so secretly, there is a chance that spouses could wind up raising children that aren’t their own, which is biologically counter-productive.
Additionally, women were traditionally dependent upon their heterosexual partner to provide for them while they raise their children, so keeping marriages intact and not having sex until married was important lest the woman not be able to raise her children, with cost to her family and society.
Yet, at the same time, men desire to spread their seed widely and often, seeking multiple partners. So among a male-dominated society, boys-will-be-boys attitudes proliferate.
We continue to experience vestiges of these social structures even today, particularly in conservative communities where people were raised with values and morals that supported this system.
But things are changing, with marriage no longer being required to allow women to support their children, or to remain in abusive or unfulfilling relationships.
Polygamorous marriages and non-marriages are becoming more common. And as men and women become more equal, new power structures are being explored. Which you, reading this, are doing yourself.
Cultural changes = relationship stress
But not everything is great. When there are no rules, or old rules are swept away, we all experience stress while we figure out new equilibriums.
A husband who discusses every decision with his wife as an equal, and even usually defers to her desires can find himself in a situation where she doesn’t respect him and his masculinity. While she wants to be an equal, deep down inside there’s a primitive urge for a strong man who exhibits his caveman-like behaviors.
It gets a bit pop-science-y, but women definitely express preferences for hyper-masculine when they are most fertile: alpha male jerks who exhibit dominant behaviors… and these are the men with whom they have one-night stands. Esther Perel put it best: “What we protest against during the day is what we desire during the night.”
It puts nice guys –men who are trying to live up to the expectations of gender equality– in a tough situation.
But for those who can swing it, some roleplay and spicy sex in the bedroom satisfies appetites that aren’t getting filled otherwise.
When women demand PC partners… then get bored
My dad left when I was five. Plenty of blame to go around, but the net result was that it left me to tag along with my mom as she immersed herself fully in the early-70’s Equal Rights movement. I was raised a feminist, and I have no regrets about that.
But, it took me a fairly long time to get into the mind of being able to dominate my wife in the bedroom. I raised to defer to women, to seek equality in all things, to not treat women like objects or a naughty girl that needed to be punished.
My wife would publicly deny she wants me to treat her like that in the bedroom, out of propriety and her reputation. But the fact is… she does. But only occasionally, and only in the bedroom. Oh, okay, or in a hotel room.
I wrote in another post how I finally got more comfortable with things, and my “Aha!” moment. And things have been great since then. Spicy sex has made our marriage and relationship stronger and better.
But the issue goes both ways. If you are a woman whose partner wants you to submit to him in the bedroom, you might slam into your own feminist beliefs. You might not have any submissive desires, or you might not feel able to admit them to yourself given how hard women have worked to get where they are today, and how they still have far to go both in Western society and globally.
Or, you might as a woman find yourself in a situation where you have a strong man who you fantasize about dominating… or who wishes to be dominated. That can be a particularly tricky one to figure out, especially for if your male partner is vanilla, not interested in kink, and either committed to or insecure about his masculinity. Being submissive in any capacity, spicy sex or not, could be psychologically difficult to accept.
But again, think of the stereotype of who sees dominatrixes: powerful, professional men who have the desire and means to give up power for a short time. If you want to try this, or if your man wants to try this kind of spicy sex, you should. See how you both like it, and remember how it’s only temporary and a game played in the bedroom.
And if you do try being dominant during some spicy sex in the bedroom, the same tip as always applies: start slow. And approach it the right way: I doubt there’s any guy who wouldn’t be willing to let you try out the furry handcuffs while you gave him a blowjob. See how that goes, and take it from there.
But if partner struggling with this, give them time to absorb and process after each experience.
Reconciling feminism with submissive fantasies
There is a controversial topic in feminist blogs about a common female fantasy of being overpowered during sex. It causes a lot of anguish, for obvious reasons. But studies show that four out of ten women have these fantasies… regularly. Why? There are theories. You can read a great high-level article from Psychology Today here for an overview. And the comments are even better.
But, if you are a woman struggling with the contradiction of submissive fantasies with your desire to maintain the hard-won advances that women have made in the past century, you aren’t alone. And some men are also sensitive to this.
My opinion –which some won’t agree with, including some feminist bloggers– is that fantasy is fantasy, and what excites you in the bedroom is your business. If you want your partner to roleplay your fantasies, and he’s willing, there is no stigma with that.
But I will also say that it took me some time to get my own mind to where I could be the person to make our roleplay sessions what my wife really wanted. And for me, it took me understanding how much my wife got off on it, how much she wanted me to get off on it, and then the secret sauce that this was acting for both of us (or perhaps a bit more). Our allowing ourselves to fulfill our own and each others’ desires was incredibly fulfilling and sexy.
Read the next post in the Spicing Things Up Series: Just in the Bedroom